Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Means Mud!

Well, we have seen geese arriving, birds seeking mates, and horse hair I think winter is just about over.  Never thought it would happen in February!

Kit is beginning to shed, but my biggest concern is the mud that turns to ice overnight.  His pasture buddies shown here, but notice the water on the left...ugh!

A sunny afternoon, and they just delivered hay...Kit is happy to clean up the yard!  Ummmm, yummy...his favorite is the little hay flakes under the roughage!
Heading into the arena for a little ground work, we met a friend, Kit had to stop and sniff.  He is almost always just curious, and not frightened by piles of stuff, kittens, and the like.  However, the other day a garden hose that was moving as someone dragged it from inside a building, resulted in stopping with BIG snorts, until we identified it as a hose.

A bit dark for good photos in the arena, that and I'd need another hand, or a photographer.  We did light lundging right and left, right is still harder, and he does give a little limp at the trot, but overall he did very well.  The leg is tracking straight, with no swing outward, with walk and trot.  We haven't done canter just yet.  His previous training is showing up now, and he does very well, with only occasional bouts of "opinion" but we work through those and he does fine...I think he's just checking to see if my rules are the same.

I've been working every weekend this month, surprising for February, but I'm not complaining.  Love the work and the horses but it does cut down on the time I have for Kit. We change the clocks soon so we should have light longer in the evenings soon.

One final parting nibble!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beginning with Training

We had temperatures in the 50's on Tuesday, so I took the opportunity to head to the barn, and spend some training time with Kit. This is video shot a few weeks ago, but shows a good sample of his reaction to having his feet lifted.

Arrived to ice and mud, but Kit was fairly clean, and happy to see me.  My goal today was to pick all 4 feet, and not get hurt.  I worked with him on tying then ask for feet alternately, avoiding the dreaded left front until last.  Hoping he'd figure out this wasn't so bad.  It took a couple of requests, but he did it, and all 4 were picked and clean.

So next we headed to the indoor arena for a little work time.  His shoulder is stable and my goal is to get him moving in a more balanced manner and using each of the fronts equally in his cadence.  Light lung work, at the oval, I'm not a fan of circle lunging as it so stressing the joints of the legs.  He only gave a little buck, but I could tell it felt good, and he was very responsive to my requests.

My only hurdle was he kept wanting to stop and face me, and I wanted him to keep moving, so we are working on communication.  We compromised and I took him in hand and we worked on figure 8's, moving his balance from right to left and back again.  We didn't do a lot as it was the first time.  But I count it as a very successful session.

How I gauge a successful outcome:
1. He was happy & listened well to queues.
2. He even lifted all 4 feet in the indoor, when I tapped them with the crop, this is the ultimate goal in foot requesting for me. So I'll keep you posted.
3. I walked away without any new bruises.
4. I'm still smiling as I think about it!